Exclusive: Horizon boss says he has “not ruled out” Japanese rather than UK firms for Wylfa power station


Building and civils work on Horizon’s £10bn Wylfa nuclear power project could go to Japanese contractors rather than UK firms, Horizon’s boss has said.

Speaking to Building, Alan Raymant, Horizon chief operating officer, said he had “not ruled out” using Japanese contractors on the planned nuclear new build job in Wylfa, Anglesey.

But he pledged that 60% of the £10bn budget for the power plant would go to the UK supply chain.

He said: “There’s no point allocating work to a UK company if they don’t know how to do it. But, vice versa, there’s no point giving it to a Japanese company because they’ve done it in the past when it can be done over here.”

Prior to the sale of Horizon to Hitachi last year, the project had been courting UK contractors Laing O’Rourke and Balfour Beatty for the construction work.

Horizon is holding a series of supplier engagement days with UK firms at the moment.

Raymant said: “The reason for the events is to get the UK supply chain to think about the role they can play so we have an understanding of what scope there is for us to use UK companies.”

He said Horizon was currently seeking expressions of interest for firms to form six frameworks covering engineering support; development and planning; site investigation; civil and architectural services; electrical controls and instrumentation; and environment and waste management.

Horizon expects to spend £60m over the next three years through these frameworks.

Last week, the firm appointed Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy to undertake early engineering design, with the firm also taking on a development partner role.

Engineers Atkins and Jacobs are also among those currently working for Horizon on early design and engineering.

Horizon’s public consultation on the Wylfa project will start towards the middle of 2014 and excavation works could start as early as 2015.

The firm estimates construction of the nuclear plant itself will start in 2019 with work on the major associated development starting a year earlier in 2018.